A 33-year-old man struggles with family dynamics as he shares a child, aged 6, with his 36-year-old wife, who also has a 13-year-old daughter living with them full-time. In addition, the couple has custody of their 15-year-old niece.
A Busy House
With such a diverse household, tensions are high, as the man attempts to navigate and mediate between the different personalities and age groups.
OP describes the household dynamic as mostly the mother (F) and youngest child (T) against the teens, with him acting as the referee between everyone.
It’s a difficult position to be in, and OP is finding it increasingly challenging, as F’s favoritism toward T becomes more and more apparent.
According to OP, F has taught T to blame others for her actions to avoid consequences.
T can simply say a few words and one of the teens will get punished without question.
An Entitled Brat
OP can see that T is becoming increasingly entitled and bratty due to this dynamic.
It’s clear he loves her, but he’s worried her behavior will only get worse if it’s not addressed.
Using the Pool Is Prohibited
One example of favoritism in the household occurred when OP and F had to attend an appointment together.
When they returned home, it became apparent someone had used the pool, even though the children knew they weren’t allowed to swim when the parents weren’t home.
Lying Through Her Teeth
T denied any involvement, claiming she was in her room coloring the whole time.
The teens knew this wasn’t true, as they had seen her swimming in the pool.
Get’s Away With It Scot-Free
Despite the evidence, F refused to punish T.
Instead, only the teens were punished for breaking the rule.
OP found this to be incredibly unfair and believed F needed to not only punish T for swimming but also for lying.
F wouldn’t budge on the issue, leading to a frustrating and relentless disagreement.
The lying, blaming, and favoritism ultimately caused the teens to act out, which is understandable given the circumstances.
Their acting out only resulted in more punishments and chores, often unfairly assigned to them.
For instance, they were recently removed from music lessons due to their behavior.
It’s easy to see how this sort of unfair treatment could make the teens resent F and T, leading to verbal outbursts and frustration.
OP has tried to address these issues with F numerous times, but they seem to fall on deaf ears.
He’s attempted to have conversations about the situation, but F won’t acknowledge her faults.
A Bad Review
OP even wrote a performance review for F, as a stay-at-home mom, outlining areas in need of improvement.
While the review highlighted some of F’s strengths, such as her abilities in other areas besides parenting, it also touched on the need for her to listen better, stop being biased, and be fair in all her decisions.
OP recommended F give each child the same amount of one-on-one alone time to speak or just be with one another.
Not Well Received
Unfortunately, the review backfired in OP’s face.
F accused him of being abusive and manipulative, threatening to open a private bank account and take half his paycheck every week.
Repair the Cracks in Their Family
OP is left questioning whether he was wrong for addressing the issues in their house, as he tries to find a way to bring his family back together in a more balanced and healthy way.
Here’s What People Thought
ScentedPasta responded, “The parenting of your children is not a project. You are not her boss, you are her husband and the father of her kid. Giving her a performance review is condescending and, as she said, manipulative.”
Another user added, “Her refusing to listen, then threatening to take half his paycheck, shows she doesn’t see him as an equal. He’s an ATM to her and that’s it. He made his wife listen to his concerns by any means necessary, and she refused to budge. If the genders were reversed, every person would be calling for divorce.”
Someone questioned, writing, “Are you her EMPLOYER, because employers give performance reviews. Partners do not give performance reviews.”
What would you do if your partner gave you a performance review? Who is in the wrong here? Was he just trying to be helpful, or was he condescending?
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